50,000 new UK homes to get ‘free’ Windows XP Media Center PCs

“Wireless networking firm Abrocour is giving away 50,000 home entertainment PC systems in a bid to convert new homes to wireless,” Daniel Thomas reports for vnunet.com. “The company claims that it will connect a third of all new UK homes built in 2004 using wireless broadband access.”

“It is giving away the Windows XP Media Center PCs with 32in flat screen displays to housing developers which install them in new homes. Abrocour’s Openhome entertainment package includes a broadband internet connection, wireless network and home monitoring system,” Thomas reports. ‘Housing developers will also be able to differentiate themselves to new home buyers,’ said Sam Sethi, chief executive at Abrocour.”

“New home buyers will have a year’s free broadband access, but will have to pay subscription fees to Abrocour after that. Abrocour has joined forces with BT, Elonex, Intel, Hewlett Packard and Microsoft and hopes to kit out 100,000 new homes by the end of 2004, including the Chelsea Bridge Wharf development in London,” Thomas reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: That’s one way to lock people into the “Microsoft solution,” we suppose. No word yet on whether the homes’ walls will be painted blue to match Windows’ preferred screen color or if the homes themselves will also be constructed without door and window locks.


  1. Every light switch in the home is unique, requiring the owner to figure out how to operate each one every time they need to turn on a light. It’s an effort to maintain maximum interface disharmony throughout the home, so that when the PC is used, it won’t seem out of the ordinary.

  2. I spoke to the builder. Each house is built upon a creaky, shaky foundation – they bought the design for a song, but they plan to make millions from it. On top of this rickety base, they will try to build a facsimile of a quality house, but they don’t really care if they get it right since they know suckers will snap them up anyway thanks to their massive marketing efforts.

  3. I wonder if the ISP requires the user to use Windoze. Can the home owner install a flavour (for those UK folks) of Linux, or even trash the PC and use the 32 inch monitor with their new G5?

  4. If Apple had any gumption, they would have thought of it first. Apple needs to get aggressive and tell in their advertising why they’re the best. Then we users wouldn’t need to whine. (Mac user for as long as I can remember).

  5. I think I read on a Mac site somewhere that G5s were being included in some high-end housing communities here in California. I hope those UK home buyers have an option to upgrade to Macs. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  6. I bet this Abrocour is offering tech support as well. What better to guarantee job security. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

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